Posts Tagged ‘danda’

World Takeover fast approaching

The world takeover is two days away (possibly three) and I have little brain space for other things.  There are a few things that I could hash together to see if it makes a full post. Here goes.

1. Sitting at the computer is giving me a bit of a bad back. It’s making me feel old. I’m wondering how soon this would have happened if I’d gone down the office-job route.

2. My NaNoWriMo is behind by about three days. It doesn’t sound much but it translates to about 5000 words. Which I need to do today. So then it does sound like a lot.

3. I’m having trouble working out how to get photos I’ve taken on my phone to all come out the same size on the website. Some come out big and some come out teeny tiny and some are just right. How/why does this happen? Why don’t they all look the same size?

4. Last night, during Masterchef, the contestants had to make something with a random selection of ingredients. Last time I asked Danda what he would have made, this was his answer. This time, they had a mango, some ricotta, a coconut, brown crab, an aubergine and some other stuff I’ve forgotten. I think I’d make something desserty, I said to Danda, what would you make? Danda’s answer – I’d eat the mango and throw the coconut at Monica’s head. Ever the professional chef.

5. I want a cup of tea.

And now, here’s a photo. To try and rescue this non-post. It’s a tiny snail.
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O, I do like to be beside the sea

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to Danda!
Happy birthday to you!

Hip hip hooray and all that.

As you’ve probably guessed, it was Danda’s birthday yesterday so, in true birthday style, we ran off to the beach for the day. And it was glorious. The weather stayed warm enough to spend all day walking around but breezy enough to not be uncomfortable.

The day started with fancy lunch. I love a fancy lunch, as some of you may already know. I love fancy lunching. I love Michelin stars. I love pretty food.

This lunch did not disappoint.

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It started with bread, after which we were presented with calf’s tongue with piccalilli. Did I ever mention how much I love the free extras at nice restaurants?
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We had the same starter, a leek and potato soup with white truffle cream. My goodness, do I love a truffle! I love a truffle. I went crazy for this soup. It was really really good with some of the fresh bread dipped into it.
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Next up, Danda’s main was mackerel with mashed potatoes, spinach and tomatoes.
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Mine was a confit duck leg on a bed of lentils and bacon with cavolo nero and thinly cut, fried potatoes.
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It was easily the best duck I’ve ever eaten. It was so soft and fell off the bone without any resistance at all. The skin, which I worried about because it can be quite fatty and disappointing, was crispy and beautiful. The jus was fantastic too. I just ate and ate and hoped it would never end. Sadly, it did so off we went, out into the daylight, to seek our next adventure.

We found it on the Brighton Wheel, looking down at the seaside town from the sky.
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We then went for the longest walk ever in search of the Naturist Beach. O, what? Wait. I mean. I meant. I didn’t mean we went looking for it. I meant we were walking and then we saw it. By accident.

There was one bloke with a cap on chatting to a fully dressed couple and that was it. Disappointing.

We headed out to the marina to see what fun could be had there.
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There were a lot of generic could-be-anywhere shops near the marina so we decided to wander back to the beach but not after spotting an amazing ‘5D’ ride thing that we just had to go on. It was one of those rollercoaster simulator things and it was really good. We got given 3D glasses and were splashed with water or blown with wind. It was fast and furious and I yelped quite a lot!

We finished the day by splashing about in the water and lying on the beach looking at the sky.
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Yesterday

I have an announcement to make. Yaya is leaving for greener pastures… He’s off to Australia with his little sister on Sunday (and mother, of course) so yesterday, Danda and I headed over to spend the afternoon and evening with them, which looked like this….

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Most important thing first. Let’s unpack the Lego set and get building.

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Isla grabs the stickers and she’s happy.

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Yaya and I with our serious faces on, trying to figure out the 43-stage instructions for the Batmobile.

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In the meantime, Danda keeps Isla happy by drawing Winnie the Pooh.

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After a good hour or so and a lot of intense concentration, Yaya completes the Batmobile! I didn’t help putting it together. I was more like on-hand Lego-peice-finder and instruction-book-page-turner.

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Yaya playing with the Lego he made.

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Close up of Isla watching a ‘nake’ on TV (snake)

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Out for dinner and Isla is proudly wearing the Supergirl hat that Dad drew for her.

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My warm goats cheese and roast veg salad with chicken. Those little bread thingies round the edge were so good.

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Yaya’s version of a smile.

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Isla mixing her babyccino and icecream together then spooning some of it into her icecream cone, which then drips out of the bottom.

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Room On The Broom with Danda. They were told to lie in bed to listen to the story but there was too much to see in the book so they slowly crept over and were all huddled together listening.

When we had decided it was sleep time, Isla and Yaya and I had a little chat about how I wouldn’t see them again before they go on the  ‘big ellaflane’ to ‘Stralia’ so I’ll see them in a little while when I come over for a holiday.

“Are you coming on the ellaflane with us?” Isla asked.

“No. You’re going on the aeroplane first, on Sunday,” I replied. “I’m coming later.”

“On Monday?” Yaya asked.

“I’ve got to go to work on Monday,” I said, doing a sad face. “It will have to be after Monday. Maybe in a few more weeks.”

I know,” said Yaya, his eyes lighting up. “Come on Tuesday! You should come on Tuesday, Lauwa.”

“Ok, Yaya. Tuesday sounds good. I think I’ve got a day off so that will be fine.”

They both puckered up, ready for a kiss goodnight and Yaya assured me that they would telephone me on the computer from ‘Stralia’. After a brief chat with Isla about how she loves ‘nakes’ and that there are loads of massive ‘nakes’ in ‘Stralia’, it was goodnight time.

The first blackberry

A few days ago, I was walking home and I spotted a single ripe blackberry.

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In my excitement, I thought about giving it to Danda…. But then I remembered what happened last year so I ate it myself….

(I posted this in October last year.)

This is a story. A story that I am calling Danda And The Blackberry. It contains adventure, daring, far away lands and valiant mission.

One day, a few months ago, I was out walking. I was listening to Vanessa Paradis’ ridiculous but catchy hit, Joe Le Taxi as I roved. I was pottering up and down hills and following the river through London and having a lovely time. The summer was at that lovely not-too-hot, just-a-slight-breeze stage. The leaves on the trees were green and I stopped often to photograph the beautiful flowers.

I was having a lovely time. That’s when I saw it. The single ripe blackberry on the blackberry bush…

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Ah! I thought. Look what the summer day hath delivered unto me. I shall pick this single ripe blackberry and present it as a gift to somebody.

But to whom should I give this beautiful gift of the summer’s first blackberry? Hmmm.

And that’s when I thought, I shall give it to Danda. Because he is a taxi driver, he is quite often on the move and I thought he might be in the area. I gave him a quick call and he was nearby but he was taking someone to the top of the hill that I was at the bottom of. So, thought I, I shall race to the top of the hill and hopefully see him there.

Off I sped, bearing the summer’s first blackberry aloft. It was quite a long walk and really quite steep but I was on a Blackberry Mission and determined. As Danda drove up the hill, I walked as quickly as my legs would take me. He was held at a red light for ten seconds or so. This gave me the edge. Holding the blackberry gently, I power-walked through fields and past trees. I was determined. Danda’s taxi was approaching the top of the hill just as I hurried to the end of the path and out onto the pavement.

It was like someone had organised us, like chess peices, to collide at exactly the right moment. We reached the bend in the road at the same time and waved. Danda drove a little further down the road to drop the person in his taxi off while I stood panting a little and trying to regain my composure.

A minute or two later, Danda was back. He pulled over and I climbed in the back.

“Danda!” I declared with great aplomb, “I have brought you this blackberry from the Alaskan wilds, from whence I have come after my long exploration there.” (Not really, I had just been wandering around aimlessly by the Thames but that’s beside the point. Stick with me on this one.) “I have brought this, the first blackberry of the summer, to you, as it reminds me of your summery disposition and your great love of blackberries.” (He once said he’d had an apple and blackberry crumble which was tasty.)

He looked a little uncertain about the grandness with which I presented the blackberry to him but nevertheless, he took it, popped it in his mouth and ate it.

I waited, with baited breath for his verdict.

Silence.

“Danda. What of the beauty of the blackberry? Do you approve of it?”

“Mmm….” He said, nonchalantly. “It’s a bit sharp….”

Silence.

“Do you want a lift anywhere?”

Danda and the chicken leg

A few years ago, Danda was living alone and he was eating how men eat when they live alone. He’d freeze things for emergencies – a ready made meal, a bit of meat, some peas (every freezer needs some peas, even if you never touch them), etc etc. You get the idea.

On the day in question, he was rooting through the freezer to see what emergency supplies he had. He found a lone chicken leg. It wasn’t in a packet or anything. He wasn’t sure how long it had been there. So he decided to throw it away. It was a Thursday and the bins wouldn’t be collected until Tuesday so he didn’t want to put it in the bin because it would defrost and then attract flies and the whole thing would be very unpleasant.

Hmm, thought Danda. What shall I do with the chicken leg? Oo! The foxes might like it.

As there are foxes around, he thought they might like a little nibble on a chicken leg.

The gardens of the houses in the two parallel roads back onto each other, so that the bottom of one garden meets the bottom of the other. The garden behind was always a wilderness of overgrown weeds and grasses. These overgrown weeds were also all over the fence dividing the two gardens so that you couldn’t even see into the next garden unless you went to an upstairs bedroom and could see a bit more.

Danda thought the foxes probably roam around in there all the time. Certainly no humans are wandering around in there, it’s too overgrown.

And so Danda, in his ultimate wisdom, with his plan in place, approached the bottom of the garden, frozen chicken leg in hand, and threw it quite hard over the weed covered fence and into the next garden.

CRAAAAASH!

Danda ducked and ran inside, hiding behind the back door and trying to work out what the noise was. Could it have been someone breaking into one of the houses? Someone throwing something at him? A domestic got out of control and a couple throwing each other’s stuff out of the bedroom window?

Puzzled, he climbed the stairs to look out of the back window and try to work out what was going on.

And that’s when he saw it.

The people who owned the garden behind had obviously tired of the wilderness nature of their garden and decided to smarten it up. Some of the long grasses had been cleared and they had even erected a brand new swanky-looking garden shed.

A garden shed with a chicken-leg-shaped hole in one of the lovely new glass windows…..

Stop press! Emergency!

Something has happened. Something of great seriousness and utmost importance. There must be an inquiry. Something must be done. The culprit must be found.

For I have some disturbing news, my friends. There has been A Theft. A Theft of massive proportions. Something of high importance has been stolen from me.

Do you remember a few weeks ago, when we had a look around the garden? And do you remember when I mentioned the strawberries?

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Well, this exact strawberry I’ve pictured here had started turn red a few days ago. And as we sat out eating dinner the other night, Danda said we should eat it. It was still quite pale though so I said we should give it one more day to let it go darker red and it would be more juicy. Excited, we rubbed our hands in glee and imagined the lovely strawberry fun which was to be had.

We would maybe eat it raw, we thought. Perhaps with a bit of cream. There were endless possibilities.

And so I came home today. And found this….

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And the strawberry was nowhere to be found. Danda says he can’t find it on the floor.

SO WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE? WHERE’S MY BLOODY STRAWBERRY?!

Who’s nicked it? Come on! Own up! Who’s had it? Was it a bird? A squirrel?

I need an inquiry here. At the very least, people need to be questioned.

What is the world coming to?

The time we went to the pub quiz

I’ve mentioned my need to win the lottery before, in passing. It’s recently become quite essential that I win, because of my need to become a beekeeper/farmer/chef. The only way I can really pursue this is to not be constrained by small irritations like paying the rent.

About ten days ago, my friend and I saw a sign for the local pub’s pub quiz. The prize was £470!

Amazing, we thought, it will be like winning the lottery. Only smaller. Much, much smaller.

And so the plan was made. We would go to the pub quiz, Danda and my friend and I. And we would win. And then we would each have a third of the £470. And we would be rich. And be able to quit our jobs and keep bees.

Off we went, last Tuesday, with our brains in gear. We have four university degrees between us and a whole host of varying life experience. We were going to smash this!

And it got started. Where is the PM’s Buckinghamshire residence? Chequers! Boom! We were on fire (actually, Danda was the only one on the team who knew that but never mind).

Next question. Who sang Dancing In The Moonlight? Toploader! Boom!

Where does the Council of Europe sit? Strasbourg! Boom!

We stumbled on a few but a lovely/drunk customer from the deli enlightened us with his Star Trek knowledge and on we went, getting a surprisingly large amount of the answers right.

It took forever to read the answers out and mark them, then announce the winners. He started with the last place team… Not us! Fab.

Seventh place… Not us. Woop!

Finally he got to the second place team….. And it was us. Gutted.

First place team only got one and a half points more than us. But wait! What’s this?! They had too many members on their team so they’ve been docked two points!

So we’ve won! Yessssssss! YES! YES YES YES! WE WON! AAAH! We’re rich! Bring it on! We sat back, grinning from ear to ear.

But then something was happening up front. Someone’s name was being picked out of a hat. Someone from a different team. He was asked a question to win the money… Wait a minute. The money is ours, surely?

No, the lady at the next table explained. Winning the quiz doesn’t mean you win the money. You just win vouchers. To win the money, you have to get picked out of the hat and answer the mystery question right.

Erm. Excuse me. This is two hours of my life I can never get back. Where’s my money?

Anyway, the guy who got picked out of the hat didn’t get the question right so the money rolled over to next week.

And us? Well, we won vouchers. And respect. Obviously. But the problem with the vouchers is that Danda is teetotal and I don’t really drink at all either. And the quizmaster couldn’t find the proper vouchers so he hand wrote us two vouchers each.

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Fair enough, it was tons of fun and I’d definitely go again and we got free sandwiches afterwards. And now my friend had six drinks vouchers and can get drunk at the next quiz.

But I’ll guess we’ll keep playing the lottery.